Eaton Corp. is readying plans broaden its automated transmission product lineup, rolling out an automated version of its manual Fuller Advantage transmission – similar to the model being used in powertrain venture with engine maker Cummins – along with six new versions of its automated UltraShift Plus transmission, including 16- and 10-speed versions tailored solely to Navistar’s highway tractors that are due to start production this April.

“The challenges are straightforward; demand for energy is increasing, natural resources are constrained, and the urban [transportation] landscape is rapidly changing,” noted John Beering, Eaton’s Sr. VP and GM for its commercial vehicle transmission business, during a press conference at the 2013 Mid America Trucking Show. “That’s why fuel economy and product integration are becoming so critical.”

Beering pointed out that the new Ultrashift Plus automated 16-speed, with an option 10-speed direct drive variant, Eaton is building for Navistar should help boost fuel economy anywhere from 2% to 4%.

Likewise, he added that the recently introduced Cummins-Eaton powertrain package is also geared to improve fuel economy on the order of 3% to 6%. Beering also noted that the Fuller Advantage transmission being used within that Cummins powertrain package is a new automated version of what has traditionally been a manual-only product and that more automated versions of the Fuller Advantage are in development and should be released in 2014.

Eaton is also releasing six new versions of its automated UltraShift Plus transmission in 10- and 11-speed variations to help fill in what Beering called “application gaps” so the UltraShift can serve a broader slice of the trucking market.